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Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) hails Senate passage of CA Values Act to protect families, communities from deportation machine

For Immediate Release: April 3, 2017

Media Contact: Lourdes Martinez, Political Director

e-mail: lourdesm@mujeresunidas.net

Immigrant, civil rights groups urge state to get out of painful deportations

Sacramento, CA – Today, the State Senate voted 27 – 12 to approve SB 54, the California Values Act, by Senate President De León. The strongest immigrants’ rights legislation in the nation, the CA Values Act would largely keep local and state resources out of harmful deportations that separate families. The Values Act would also ensure that public schools, hospitals, libraries and courts remain safe and accessible to all community members. The bill now heads to the state Assembly, as outrage grows over the administration’s cynical attempt to entangle local governments with a monstrous deportation machine which threatens the civil rights and safety of all.

In response, MUA has stated:

In order for Latina immigrant women and our children to succeed and get ahead in this country, it is necessary to protect our communities from the psychological and emotional harm caused by deportations and by the culture of racism that seeks to depict us all as criminals. In this time of moral crisis – when our federal government is creating divisions among us with messages of hate – it is time for our state legislators to reaffirm their commitment to the values of inclusion and solidarity. It is time for them to pass the California Values Act, SB54. 

The bill’s passage came after a day of action at the Capitol that included a rally featuring holocaust survivor Bernard Marks, whose pointed remarks last week that history is not on the side of the Sacramento Sheriff went viral. Also speaking were Jocelyn Avelica and Diana Vargas Avelica, daughter and niece of Romulo Avelica, a Los Angeles father arrested by ICE agents in February after he had dropped off his younger daughter at school, along with faith, labor, and immigrant rights leaders.

ICE’s deportation practices violate principles of due process and probable cause, with immigrants languishing in detention for long periods without even seeing a judge.

Humanity, not criminalization: The campaign for the CA Values Act is anchored in the experiences and leadership of immigrant community members themselves. Community groups urge the public to recognize the humanity of people who have had arrests or convictions and to think critically about attempts by anti-immigrant forces to demonize immigrants and spread fear-mongering and scapegoating.